2 April 2004 Design, modeling, and fabrication of piezoelectric polymer actuators
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Piezoelectric polymers are a class of materials with great potential and promise for many applications. Because of their ideally suitable characteristics, they make good candidates for actuators. However, the difficulty of forming structures and shapes has limited the range of mechanical design. In this work, the design and fabrication of a unimorph piezoelectric cantilever actuator using piezoelectric polymer PVDF with an electroplated layer of nickel alloy has been described. The modeling and simulation of the composite cantilever with planar and microstructured surfaces has been performed by CoventorWare to optimize the design parameters in order to achieve large tip deflections. These simulation results indicated that a microstructured cantilever could produce 25 percent higher deflection compared to a simple planar cantilever surface. The tip deflection of the composite cantilever with a length of 6mm and a width of 1mm can reach up to 100μm. A PVDF polymer with a specifically designed shape was punched out along the elongation direction on the embossing machine at room temperature. The nickel alloy layer was electroplated on one side of the PVDF to form a composite cantilever. The tip deflection of the cantilever was observed and measured under an optical microscope. The experimental result is in agreement with the theoretical analysis.
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Yao Fu, Erol C. Harvey, Muralidhar K. Ghantasala, and Geoff Spinks "Design, modeling, and fabrication of piezoelectric polymer actuators", Proc. SPIE 5276, Device and Process Technologies for MEMS, Microelectronics, and Photonics III, (2 April 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.527885; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.527885

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